GGVogue: Welcome Kittie to GGV! We’re happy to have you on board. Now we know you’re an Etsy Vendor, Game designer, and YouTube Let’s Player, but to give our audiences an insight on who you are and your gaming history, tell us a little about yourself and how you got into video games.
Krystal: Awesome! It’s been interesting how I’ve actually got into video games because it just kind of happened. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time at my Grandma’s house. My Aunt and cousin Anthony lived with her as well and sometimes I’d travel up to my cousin’s room to find him playing videogames. This was back around the time of Nintendo and SNES. He was a major sports fan and had tons of sports games to play such as Ken Griffey Jr’s Homerun and Wayne Gretsky’s Hockey, even Mike Tyson’s PunchOut. I watched him play these fun games with ease and every once in a while he would let me play. My favorite was always Mario! The first game I remember really trying hard to beat was Super Mario Bros 2 on the NES. It was my favorite out of the games he had because I had the option to play as a girl, which was Princess Peach! So every afternoon after school when I stayed at my grandma’s house I would rush up and beg to be able to play some games. From there on, I evolved into a gamer at home and in school. I was a really shy kid at school, and the way I connected with most kids was through drawing video game characters and helping them find ways to beat end bosses. At home I didn’t live in such a hot area, so I spent a lot of time in the house playing video games on my N64 and Gameboy. So, gaming has always been something that felt natural to me and my mother has always been supportive of my hobby.
GGVogue: So a big part of your video game passion stems from your cousin having consoles and you playing them whenever you had the chance. That’s awesome! You say you don’t live in a hot area, I’m guessing it’s somewhere north where it’s cold often.
Krystal: Oh, well I really meant that I didn’t live in such a great neighborhood. There weren’t many things that I could do outside safely so I spent most of my time inside playing videogames. It is cold because I’m from Wisconsin, but not that bad. Haha! When I got older though I did do a lot of skateboarding in the neighborhood.
GGVogue: Nice! 😀 We got a gamer/sk8ter! Haha, now growing up on games like PunchOut, Super Mario, and N64, those are worlds away from what we play now. What are some differences that have heighten your passion for video games and things that differ negatively?
Krystal: Yeah! 🙂 I miss the good old days of just popping in a cartridge and having the game start automatically with no interruptions. The games that I enjoyed playing on the N64 were mostly adventure games, while now I play many different genres. Around Middle School and High School I had my PS2 and that opened me up to many of the genres I love today. Especially my favorite game Silent Hill 2. Horror games really were intriguing to me. I’d have such an emotional connection while playing them. My adrenalin would get pumped & I had to think really hard to solve the puzzles. There’s always such a deep scary story behind it! As I got older, so did my taste in games. I played GTA, Mortal Kombat, Fatal Frame and even Doom. Today, I specialize in fighting games and First Person Shooters. The differences is that games back in the day were more rewarding, yet really difficult. Nowadays, there’s a walkthrough or video guide to get you through anything you have a problem with. But they still promote creative thinking. I’ve realized that my passion for games was much stronger after joining my first clan (PMS) and realizing that there is money to be made in video games. Whether you’re promoting, writing or even making games, you get to live off of that passion.
GGVogue: That’s so beautifully said. You hit a chord that is worth mentioning, pursuing anything in the field of video games requires a passion because you won’t see the fruit of your efforts for a while. You specialize in fighting and horror games, do you feel that will be a focused genre when you yourself begin creating games as a game designer?
Krystal: Definitely! I have been so inspired by Silent Hill as a series and actually any other series that bugs me psychologically really inspires me. The games that I want to create will have to engage the character emotionally and I love a great story. My passion would have to be in creating horror/thriller games. I’ve always been a fan of horror movies and books, one of my favorite series being Nightmare on Elm Street, and favorite Author Stephen King. King puts so much passion into his writings and you can see that there’s always a new fresh story with every book he writes. I hope to have the same passion placed in my videogames when I start to create them.
GGVogue: It’s so humbling to hear you say that because we’re so accustomed to the classics it’s hard to change. How do you feel that experience you have has changed or affected your view of current and even future games as a gamer and future designer?
Krystal: I feel that indie games are going to start to overpower more of the games that we are so used to. When I think of games like Amnesia, Minecraft and even Slender that all started out as Indie games, they are really starting to blow up. The creators have more freedom with what they want to do with their games. Some of the greatest stories in horror games have been in some indie games that I’ve played through. I still believe that major titles will be huge competitors but I think indie developers will be on more of the same level in the future.
GGVogue: I completely agree. Which is why our website strives so hard to promote small Indie developers because we support their efforts in being a small blogsphere of video games. I feel though from all your experience with games there has to have been one special game that you have a personal experience of that has moved you to become fonder of video games. What would you say that is?
Krystal: Silent Hill 2. It was the first official horror games that really got to me. I went through so many emotions from playing that game. The story is one that will ALWAYS be with me. You go through so much with James Sunderland. At first you really do believe that you are searching for his wife and the subtle cues along the way leave you feeling defeated as you continue to go on. The ambiance in environment, beautiful cryptic music from Akira Yamoka, voice acting even to the hidden underlying meaning behind each enemy and character you meet in the game all make this the greatest video game I have ever played. I’ve yet to see a game have such a complex story and leave such an emotional attachment as Silent Hill 2. Once I finished, I did not wanted it to end. I was completely immersed into the story that I even remember crying at least 3 times throughout the game. SH2 had left that much of an impression on me that I wrote a thesis paper on it in college defining that video games are truly art. I recommend to anyone who hasn’t played SH2 to do so, you will think differently about videogames in general.
GGVogue: I will be sure to play through it! I completely agree video games have become a form of art like Journey, Fez, and even bastion take new directions with video games. Moving on, what are some current games you are playing now?
Krystal: Currently I have been trying to lean away from Call of Duty with playing League of Legends on PC, as well as trying to get competitive in Super Street Fighter 4 AE. Also I’ve been playing around with many F2F indie games and RPG’s. I continue to love horror games while I am also revisiting good classics like ClockTower, Parasite Eve and Alone in the Dark. I’ve also been playing a lot of Dungeons and Dragons Neverwinter.
GGVogue: Parasite Eve, Alone in the Dark, and League of Legends are awesome games! I’m glad you are re-visiting PE and AitD! They are superb games. So as a new addition to GGVogue, what are issues/topics you want to bring to the table and make the public aware about?
Krystal: I’ve always wanted to be a part of a group of females that game since I had always been the one of the only ones. I love being a part of GGVogue because I get to do just that, and work with such amazing gamers that have really strong voices. Through GGVogue, I hope to inspire other girls out there to want to get involved in working in videogames. For me, I’ve always been a technical person so computer science and game programming was a natural career choice. Most of the gamers that I’ve met are all super smart people. If you love video games, realize that there could be a career out there for you if you just apply your skills to it. Also I really want to be a part of bringing more diversity to gaming. I’ve always wondered why there weren’t many ethnic characters in video games and now I’m realizing that it’s probably because there just aren’t many diverse developers working in video games. This I want to change and see change in video games as well.
GGVogue: With diversity you say there isn’t any, how do you hope to bring diversity into the video game industry that has been without for so long?
Krystal: I see things slightly changing a bit. We are seeing more ethnic characters playing lead roles in games, but still not enough. There’s characters in L4D, Chell from Portal (actually Valve is just awesome!), Lee from TWD and even more that I could go on to name. Much more than the selection back in the day when I was younger. I need to make sure that when I can develop my own company or start to work for a gaming company that I’m able to bring my ideas and speak up about having more diversity in the games that I’m a part of the creation process with. This is why I like being a game designer because I know how to create characters to my liking and add in a great story besides it being stereotypical. I also would like to write about topics and bring it to people’s attention that there are gamers of every color and race enjoying their games, so everything does not have to be so one sided. I enjoy supporting companies and games that have a bit of diversity in them.
GGVogue: Wow, now that’s a passion! I just want to thank you for your time and is there anything you’d like to tell gamers out there who are reading this?
Krystal: To the gamers out there, keep enjoying video games. Play them for what they are worth and admire what goes into making them. If you have a passion or love for gaming, write about it. You never know if there are some opportunities for you and there’s going to be someone out there willing to hear your opinion 🙂
GGVogue: Thanks so much for your time Kittie! Be sure to check out all of Kittie’s articles and videos on GGVogue and check out her Podcast with Alymew and Narz on the Gaming Valkyries YouTube Channel!